Saturday, January 9, 2010

Woke up and realizing we were in Brno!

We had a good night sleep. I woke up and for a moment I didn't know where I was. I was laying on a semi-stiff bed and looking up at the ceiling and realizing that we did come all the way from Los Angeles to Paso Robles to San Francisco to Frankfurt to Vienna and finally to Brno. It was a long trip for sure.

The rooms were VERY messy. We didn't have any energy to organize but barely to unpack six of our baggages the previous night.


We knew that we had to go shopping for furniture, etc, over the weekend before my hubby has to go back to work. In the meantime, gG was VERY interested in the white sparkling stuff on the balcony floor, so we let him out doubting he would even step outside. But I guess he became more adventurous throughtout the trip. He did step outside and walked to the end of the balcony. Sniffing the snow and feeling its chillness seemed to amuze him quite a bit.


Since we didn't have any coffee or tea, we got ready quickly and went out for a cup of coffee for my hubby and a cup of tea for myself. The snow has accumulated about 30cm, and it was truely great to walk through all that snow!! Am I just having a stupid tourist mentality here? Well, but born in a warm place like Shizuoka (Japan) and having lived in a warm place like LA for so long, it was actually intriguing to see the whole town covered in snow. Beautiful!

Back to furniture... since we know that we are not going to be living here forever, we decided to shop at IKEA for the furniture that we would need immediately such as sofa, stools for the bar counter, etc. Before heading to IKEA, we strolled around our new neighborhood. There is a great Tea (čaj) and Coffee (káva) shop. The store must carry at least 300 different kinds of tea and coffee. Everything was labeled in Czech, and the owner didn't speak English, so I just tried Enligsh saying "mint" čaj. And, it worked! So, that was the first shopping that I did in Brno after our arrival.


After successfully acquiring my favorite tea, we went down to the central station area. There are two big stores. One is called TESCO, which is more like a K-Mart or Walmart. Then there is a shopping mall called Vańkovka (ń pronounces as "ny"), which has all kinds of stores and restaurants as well as a grocery store. We went in to grab a lunch before we head to IKEA, which is about 15 mins ride by bus from the mall.

The grocery store was also neat. The shopping carts are all tied up with chain that has a key on the edge. In order to unlock the key and pull a cart out for use, you have to insert a coin in a slot. It seems like you can put any coin as far as it fits. Then, once you are done shopping, you return the cart and insert the key into the slot, and you would get your coin back. I thought the system was pretty neat but inconvenient in some cases. At one store we recently went in, all the carts were securely tied right behind the entrance (no exit just entrance). So we got the cart, and we shopped, but then when it came to the time to return a cart, we had to again go into the store entrance and return the cart and went through the store just to get out of the store... :-(


IKEA was just like other IKEAs. Their system works globally, which is amazing. We got our sofa that can be made into a bed, stools for our bar counter, a couple of small items to make our life going here in Brno. Got a good start!

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